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Lights dim to black. Lights up on MEL and CINDY in MEL’s livingroom. They have just finished having sex, and are buttoning up.)


MEL. Huh?

CINDY. I said, well.

MEL. Whaddya mean?

CINDY. That was really something.

MEL. Sorry.

CINDY. You don’t have to be sorry.

MEL. I was a little pent up, that’s all.

CINDY. I guess so.

MEL. Is that a problem?

CINDY.’s just surprising.

MEL. What.

CINDY. Well it’s never...been like that.

MEL. You didn’t like it?

CINDY. I didn’t say I didn’t like it. I’m just...surprised.

MEL. Well what’s wrong with a surprise now and then?(pause)

CINDY. Nothing. (pause) What happened between you and Haddon, anyway?

MEL. I told you. I just chewed him out. (He gets up.)I’m bushed. Let’s go to bed.

CINDY(hurt) Mel.

MEL. What?

CINDY. What do you mean, what?

MEL. I mean why are you acting like that.

CINDY. You don’t know?

MEL. No, I don’t know.

CINDY. Well think about it for a minute.

MEL. Think about what.

CINDY. Mel, use your brain.

MEL. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

CINDY. That really makes me mad.

MEL. How am I supposed to know if you don’t tell me. Didn’t you like the sex we had? What? Was I too violent? What? What’s the problem? I’m tired, honey.

CINDY. Not that. (There are tears in her eyes.) Think.

MEL. Jesus Cindy I don’t know. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

CINDY(after a pause) He called me a poodle.

MEL. Aw honey, no he didn’t.

CINDY. Yes he did.

MEL. He said you looked like a poodle.

CINDY. What’s the difference.

MEL. Look, I told you I chewed him out.

CINDY. I don’t care whether you chewed him out. I’d like a little bit of support please.

MEL. About what.

CINDY(getting up, stamping her feet) How can you be so stupid.

MEL. Don’t call me stupid.

CINDY. Well you’re not using your brain right now, I can tell you that.

MEL. What are you talking about. (long pause)

CINDY. Well do I?

MEL. Do you what?

CINDY. Do I...(very upset) look like a poodle.

MEL. Oh, honey, no, of course not. Is that’s what’s bothering you?

CINDY. Well of course it’s bothering me. Why wouldn’t it bother me. If someone told you you looked like a poodle, wouldn’t it bother you?

MEL. Look, honey, you don’t look like a poodle.

CINDY. Are you sure?

MEL. Of course I’m sure.

CINDY. You don’t sound very sure.

MEL. Honey, t his is silly --

CINDY. It’s not silly! These are my feelings! He really upset me --

MEL. Haddon is really screwed up.

CINDY. I don’t care about Haddon --

MEL. No, I’m saying he’s so fucked up, he’s jealous, he’s jealous of you and
CINDY. Why would he be jealous.

MEL. Because...because we’ve been friends for so long that..... He’s been my pro since the start, you know -- since we were both kids. He was the precocious skating star and I was just an upstart

CINDY. I don’t want your whole history with Haddon. I just want you to tell me I don’t that, and I want you to mean it.

MEL. Cindy --

CINDY. Are you going to tell me or not?

MEL. I already told you --

CINDY. But you didn’t mean it --

MEL. Of course I meant it.

CINDY. No, you didn’t. (pause)

MEL. Okay. Okay. (he turns to her, slowly) Listen, honey, you don’t look like a --

CINDY. Don’t say it! I don’t want to hear that word again.

MEL. Okay. I’m sorry. You don’t look.... like that. (pause)

CINDY. You don’t mean it.

MEL. Aw, honey, why wouldn’t I mean it?

CINDY. You sound like you’re telling me just because you want me to feel better. I mean you didn’t even think about saying anything until I asked you.

MEL. I’m sorry honey. I didn’t say anything because it was self-evident to me that you don’t look... like that.

CINDY(standing up-- she has a little fit) Listen to me Mel. This is about me. This is about my feelings. Everything isn’t about YOU and YOU’RE feelings you know. I have feelings too. And it’s very important to me that you think about them sometimes, that you are sensitive to me and think about MY feelings. Sometimes I feel ignored.

MEL. Cindy, you’re not ignored --

CINDY. There you go again. I FEEL IGNORED. Allright? It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re ignoring me I THINK you are. And those are my feelings and they have to be recognized.

MEL. That sounds like something your therapist told you.

CINDY. What did you say?

MEL(realizing he’s made a major booboo) I’m sorry honey but --

CINDY. You’re trashing my shrink again --

MEL. No --

CINDY. How dare you trash my shrink. You promised me you’d never do that --

MEL. No, I’m not trashing him -- I’m just saying it sounds like you’re parroting something that he said --

CINDY. You don’t know anything. You don’t know what goes on between my therapist and me or what he did or didn’t tell me to say. What happens between my therapist and me is private. And it’s none of your business and you shouldn’t try and figure it out. You should just try and respond, once or twice to my needs. I certainly spend a lot of time responding to yours.

MEL. Alright honey, I’m sorry.

CINDY. You better be. (Pause)

MEL. What do you want me to do, get down on my knees and kiss your feet?

CINDY. I guess you don’t have to do that.

MEL. I’m sorry honey, I’m sorry I’m so insensitive. I really love you honey, I really do.

CINDY(melting a bit). I know. I know you love me.

MEL. I’ll try harder in the future.

CINDY. I know you will. That’s all I need to hear. (pause, she sits down) I love you too. (They kiss. Pause)

MEL. I guess we could have sex and make up but we’ve sort of already done that.

CINDY(ruefully) I’d say so.

MEL. Well I’m tired anyway.

CINDY. So am I honey. I love you, and I know you try.

MEL. Yeah, I do.

CINDY. Okay, I’ll go get ready for bed. You want to lock up?

MEL. Yeah, I’ll lock up.

CINDY. I love you honey.

MEL. I do too. (pause) And I’m sorry.

CINDY. I accept your apology.

MEL. See you in a minute.

CINDY. See you soon. (She goes off into the bedroom. Pause. MEL sighs and looks around the apartment. He straights up some cushions, collects some drinks to take to the kitchen. Pause. There is tapping on the window. MEL ignores it, but the tapping happens again. It’s coming from a sliding door. MEL slides the door open. We see HADDON standing there, bathed in light from the apartment on the dark balcony)

MEL(whispering) Haddon, what are you doing here!

HADDON. I wanted to talk to you.

MEL. How did you get up here.

HADDON. I climbed up the drainpipe. It’s only one floor.

MEL. That’s crazy. What if the neighbours saw you?

HADDON. Nobody saw me. Everyone’s asleep.

MEL. Haddon, what’s going on.

HADDON. I just want to say something to you.

MEL. Jesus Haddon. I have to go to bed.

HADDON. Just one little thing.

MEL. You are nuts, you are seriously nuts, you know that?

HADDON. I don’t think so.

MEL. Well what is it, get on with it, will you?

HADDON. That’s what I wanted to tell you, I wanted to tell you that I’m not nuts. And I’m sorry for what I said about Cindy.

MEL. You should tell HER that. She sure put me through hell over it.

HADDON. Well I will. But I also wanted to tell YOU something.

MEL. Well, make it quick, will you?

HADDON. Well I wanted you to say, that what you said to me...on the couch. It’s not true. I don’t want...what you said I wanted.

MEL. Alright Haddon, whatever you say --

HADDON. No, no listen. I’ve been your pro for a long time, since you were a teenager right? And when we started I was a teenager myself.

MEL. Yeah, yeah -- I know.

HADDON. And what I wanted to say was, I’m just thinking of your career, but you should go with whatever partner you want to go with, because that’s the partner you’re going to do best with. But being your pro for so long, and watching you develop, and I know at first, it must have seemed like I was abusing you, verbally sometimes, but it was for your own good, MEL. Yeah, yeah

HADDON. And I think you see that now, and I just want you to know that I don’t feel the way you said about you, I just have deep feeling for you, a feeling that’s probably never going to go away. No matter what happens. But it’s a feeling of friendship.

MEL. Yeah, yeah, whatever.

HADDON. Well that’s all I wanted to say.

MEL. Good. You feel better now?

HADDON. Yes, much better.

CINDY(from the bedroom) MEL!

MEL. Jesus, that’s Cindy, what are we going to do?

HADDON. Don’t worry about me. Just shut the door. I’ll climb back down again.

MEL. Jesus Haddon --

CINDY (coming in) Mel -- what are you doing?

MEL. Sorry honey (He shuts the door, the lights dim on HADDON)

CINDY. Well come to bed.

MEL. I’m coming honey. (He goes into the bedroom, and turns off the light) Sorry. (Pause. HADDON stands in the dark for a moment. Then we hear a zipping sound. We can’t see him, but we know what’s going on, from the tiny moans. HADDON is masturbating. He continues moaning lightly as the lights dim to black.)